Making a run at the top spot [UPDATED]Published 9:16am Tuesday, October 9, 2012 Updated 11:18am Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Some people run to stay in shape, and others run for competition, but Cody Bekkerus runs to be the best.
The 2012 Pelican Rapids boys cross country team is the finest the school has seen in years thanks in part to senior captain Bekkerus.
His goals are clear; Bekkerus said he wants to take first at sections and top eight at the state Class A meet. He also wants his team to qualify for state.
“He’s really coachable and extremely hardworking,” said head cross country coach John Peter. “He understands what he has to do to get where he wants to go.”
Bekkerus first started cross country in ninth grade after having limited success with football in junior high.
“I was really small, and I didn’t want to not play a fall sport,” he said.
Bekkerus saw his potential as a cross country runner and decided to push himself in the sport.
Last year, he took fourth in the section meet and 30th in the state Class A meet. This year, he is on track to reaching his goals for this season after winning the Detroit Lakes Invitational and the Class A division of the Milaca meet. He has been ranked in state as high as 12th in his class.
Bekkerus said he credits his coaches for pushing him to run at a high level.
“They definitely know what they are talking about, and I trust everything they say,” he said.
Peter said Bekkerus is an excellent captain, and he sets a great example for all of the runners on the team.
“He really exemplifies what you want your leaders to act like,” Peter said. “He knows how to keep everybody motivated and on the right path.”
Although he is having a lot of personal success, Bekkerus said his team is what makes cross country his favorite sport.
“It’s a really fun team,” he said. “We call it a family. We talk and goof around, but we’re serious when we need to be. Nobody on the team is discouraging, and everybody is accepting.”
The season is moving along quickly, and the section meet is right around the corner for the Viking cross country team. Bekkerus said the key for the teams success is to keep working hard in practice and run faster at meets.
When he isn’t running cross country, Bekkerus is involved in student council, yearbook staff, band, track and basketball.
Although he isn’t sure where he will go to school next year, Bekkerus said he hopes to continue to run cross country.
“I think it would be really fun to keep competing in college,” he said.